Friday, 28 April 2017

Top of the Pops Night Long

It's October 13th 1983 and the nights are slowly getting longer, a cold wind is blowing from the north, the leaves are turning golden and falling from the trees, but at least we can stay in and enjoy the warmth of another edition of Top of the Pops.....

You have to hand it to Lydia...

13/10/83 (Peter Powell & Richard Skinner)

Roman Holliday – “Motormania” (47)
Maybe this should have been on the previous show? Anyway, it  was their final hit and got no further than number 40.

Tracey Ullman – “They Don’t Know” (2) (video)
At its peak. Babee.

Black Lace – “Superman (Gioca Jouer)” (12)
Went up three more places. But edited out of the 7.30 showing.

Siouxsie & The Banshees – “Dear Prudence” (3) (video)
Their second and final top ten hit now at its peak.

George Benson – “In Your Eyes” (7) (video)
His third and final top ten hit, also now at its peak.

Bucks Fizz – “London Town” (37)
Became their first single not to make the top 30 when it peaked at number 34. But also an edit victim of the early showing.

Lydia Murdock – “Superstar (Billie Jean)” (30)
A song about being a character from another song! Could have made a great concept album, that idea. It was her only hit though, peaking at number 14.

Lionel Richie – “All Night Long (All Night)” (16) (video)
At last a challenger for Culture Club, but this first track from the massive number one album, Can't Slow Down, peaked at number 2.

Culture Club – “Karma Chameleon” (1) (video)
Fourth week at number one.

Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson – “Say Say Say” (25) (audience dancing/credits)
Another challenger for the top spot appears, but again number 2 was its peak.

Tonight's BBC1 schedule

Next is October 20th 1983.


  1. Spooky, I initially watched the edited version of this on iPlayer and it ran into the adverts and then ‘The Good Old Days’ with Ken Dodd. I think someone had loaded the show up incorrectly. Anyway, PP and RS in a fetching jumper get us off to a rousing start but my eyes were drawn to the attractive girl with the Bonnie Tyler like hair standing in between them. If I am not mistaken, that is Sandy Bourne (real name Sandra Osbourne) who I was in the infants and juniors with and I still have school photos with her in it. I know she got into dancing and stuff as I recall reading a newspaper article about her a long time ago. She was definitely around in that era as in the ToTP 50th Anniversary it states:-

    Maggie Riley – “..before my ‘Moonlight Shadow appearance I came down with a heat rash all over my face and it was swelling up… I spent the day in hospital trying to stop the swelling. In the end the very able make up department at the BBC came to the rescue and managed to camouflage my face enough to get through – oh and I did wear a hat so that helped. Thank God there was no HD television then. I was taken to the bar and medicated and all the dancers were there being chatted up by the band. Six months later in my kitchen I was looking out of the window and the girl next door was doing the same. After a couple of days we realised that we’d met before. She was one of the ToTP dancers Sandy Bourne who went on to Starlight Express”.

    Roman Holliday – Motormania – Minor hit? Why was it on the show I wonder? Very no-descript

    Tracey Ullman – They don’t know – the highlight of this edition for me. What an absorbing video. In those days Bowling in the UK was quite unique. I recall very clearly going to the Bowling Alley at Dagenham and having to work out the scores manually as you can see in the video there is a score sheet being used. No computerised scoring in those days. Gosh it did cause some arguments over how to score a double, turkey and four bagger etc. Is that really Paul McCartney at the end?

    Black lace – Superman – Sandy Bourne much to the fore in this performance (white top, dark brown skirt) and what a great mover she is too! She must have been a kind of ‘house dancer’ for the show. I have to say that I hated record this at the time but it’s not too bad for what it is really, and nice to see no miming (not that miming this would be easy). It’s certainly preferable to a future single of theirs…

    Siouxsie and the Banshees – Dear Prudence – Psychedelic video can’t hide the fact that this is not a patch on the original….” I told you about Strawberry Fields…..”.

    Lydia Murdock - Superstar – After ‘Superman’ we get ‘Superstar’. Sheesh haven’t we heard enough of ‘Billie Jean’ already?

    George Benson – In your eyes – Good song, not so good video.

    Bucks Fizz – London Town – Not a good title if you want a hit single (I prefer the Wings song from the album of the same name in 1978). This probably should have been a bigger hit and the girls look really slinky and are wearing similar outfits as on the single sleeve.

    Lionel Ritchie – All night long – I personally don’t share PPs enthusiasm for the song or video. There were some great songs on ‘Can’t slow down’ with no fewer than five singles released, but I prefer the other four.

    Culture Club – Karma Chameleon – This was popular wasn’t it? Biggest selling single of 1983, ironically with the no2 in this chart ‘They don’t know’ making no20 in the year chart, so that must have shifted a fair few.

    Paul McCartney / Michael Jackson – Say say say – Worth watching solely for the enthusiastic dancer in white and the, um, camera angles! How did they get away with it?

    1. It certainly was Sir Paul McCartney at the end of the Tracey Ullman video. I liked how the video took us from her childhood years to dating with a first Paul over the bowling alley, and then we assumed in her supermarket sketch, now a mum with no make up needed, and no-one taking notice of her in the supermarket, that she was married to the one that she was dating in the bowling alley, but alas no, it was revealed that her current Paul (McCartney) was the hubby in the video, which was a surprising ending.

      Suffice to say that I don't recall seeing this video until now, and I only remember her studio performances on TOTP and various other TV shows at the time. Like with many videos at the time, if you missed it on TOTP, then you would never see it again, as we were still several years away from the MTV and music video channels.

    2. The Tracy Ullman video was on my first video tape of TOTP clips that I saved, the recording being from this very show so I saw it many times. Suddenly I feel very old.

      Seeing her with Paul McCartney reminds me of the 1970 sitcom The Lovers where Paula Wilcox's character Beryl still has a massive crush on him even though she's engaged to Geoffrey "Bobbles Bon-Bon" played by Richard Beckindale.

    3. although aware it was the first taste of fame for beckinsale and wilcox, i've never seen "the lovers" as it was perhaps a bit too adult for me at the time. the first comedy series i remember watching which around at the same time is "please sir", and for nostalgia reasons i've just bought a box set dvd of the complete series for the best part of a score. not watched it yet though, so hoping that it stands the test of time? however i did watch the film spin-off (included in the dvd set) a while back, and unlike most 70's comedy series that cashed in in that manner i thought it was actually pretty good!

    4. by the way, you know millions of people claim to remember exactly what they were doing when the likes of president kennedy, the king and lennon died? well, i can claim the same in the case of richard beckinsale: i was working in a shop called marley homecare on the YOPS scheme, and had nipped out to get some cakes!

    5. I was on the school coach in North London at 8am on the morning the news broke about Lennon's death. The coach driver always had Radio 1 on every morning, so you would get the news at 8.00am which is roughly when the coach departed every morning. I was a mere 12-year old in my second year of grammar school, and the whole school bus was in shock, as everyone knew who Lennon and The Beatles were, even from a much younger age than 12.

      With regard to Elvis in 1977, I think it was when walking on my road as a 9-year old boy, and someone from school telling me what happened, as I don't recall watching any TV in those days apart from Pot Black, The Six Million Dollar Man, Charlie's Angels, Hawaii-5-0, and the usual children cartoons like Dastardly & Muttley.

    6. The only thing I recall about Lennon's murder is that the BBC showed Help! that evening in tribute, and I enjoyed it. Elvis's death passed me by completely.

  2. hosts: i always quite liked both these guys when they were on the radio, as unlike some of their colleagues it was quite clear that they actually had some interest in the music they played. but as a totp presenter, dicky's now beginning to get on my nerves a bit with his richard briers impersonation. meanwhile pp struggles even more to keep the hair on his head, not helped by some upward-pointing camera angles

    roman holliday: yet another one that i've never heard before! quite a clever pastiche of big band/jive and actually far superior to their hit in my view. but probably a bit too clever for its own good, with the repeated breakdown segments not doing it any favours. despite the more jazzier sound, this time the band decide they want to look like a deluxe version of the stray cats. which again didn't really help their cause, as even the stray cats themselves were washed-up by this point

    tracey ullman: the comedienne-cum-singer demonstrates how a syrup and a dollop of slap can make the plainest person look easy on the eye. however no amount of sonic cosmetic treatment was capable of doing likewise with this banal tune as far as my ears were concerned

    bucks fizz: they keep popping up on the show with stuff i have no memory of whatsover (before these re-runs, i always assumed the last hit they had was "my camera never lies"), but it looks like the well is finally running dry now. i think this is the third time they've made use of a (cod) reggae feel after "the land of make believe" and something else that came afterwards that i can't recall. despite that it's not too bad rhythmically, but bobby g's tinny vocals let the side down a bit

    lydia murdock: i'm amazed that wacko didn't sue whoever was responsible for this mediocre cash-in, as the backing track sounds like a note-for-note (pre) karaoke effort, and the melody never strays very far from the his own (but yet somehow is nowhere near as memorable). looking up the "original" on wiki to find out if wacko litigated or not, i was somewhat flabbergasted to read that quincy jones' enginer bruce swedien (who was probably actually far more responsible for jones' productions than "the dude" himself) recorded 91 mixes of it before being picking one for release

    lionel richie: about 15 years ago i went into a record shop and had a flick through their bargain bin, where most of the albums there were about a pound or so. but there were several copies of both the LP this came from and another one of his, with stickers on stating "free! yes - take it away!". but not even that was enough to tempt me

    culture club: i was watching the show with someone who (unlike me) is a big fan of this, so i sat through the video (yet) again for his sake. and it occurred to me: why didn't george (unlike his band members and the rest of the extras) make any effort whatsoever to dress in period costume? after all, he would have made a quite splendid southern belle

    macca/wacko: this one left me head-scratching for a while until it eventually sort-of came back to me. it's certainly better than their last collaboration, but of course that's not really saying much. wacko gets a lot more to say say say on it than macca, and it really does sound like a lesser/rejected track from the "thriller" sessions. but surprisingly it's from macca's "tug of war" LP, and was produced by george martin rather than quincy jones (or should i say bruce swedien?)

    1. I agree that the traditional rock revival was drawing to a close by this time, with The Stray Cats about to split, and the likes of Matchbox and The Jets already on the cabaret circuit and soon to be unsigned once more. Only Shaky would last as a major chart force until the end of the 80s - which he did by teaming up with corporately sensible producers such as Christopher Neil and Peter Collins, and focusing on the mums' and dads' market.

      Sir Paul was everywhere in the early 80s, wasn't he? Almost coinciding with his post-Beatles acting debut in Tracey's video (discounting a sketch on Mike Yarwood's Christmas TV special), his second - and by far superior - duet with Jacko stormed hit parades all over the world. Sir George finally proved his R&B chops with this production, which the TOTP audience positively savoured! The classic cut on 'Tug of War', though, is Sir Paul's third collaboration with Jacko: 'The Man'.

      I agree with you about Bobby Gubby's nasal lead vocal letting Bucks Fizz down - though, to be fair, he later developed a more abrasive style akin to Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham. Liaten to the final 'HEY-ye-eah!' on BF's last big hit 'New Beginning (Mamba Seyra)', as well as the quartet's minor hit 'Magical' - which was penned by Meat Loaf and 'St Elmo's Fire' hitmaker John Parr!

    2. Ah, but Julie, Sir Paul McCartney featured directly or indirectly in three (not two) of this week's line up on the show, i.e., (a) Tracey Ullman's video, (b) his own duet with Michael Jackson at No.25, and (c) you didn't mention that Dear Prudence at No.3 for Siouxie & The Banshees is a cover version of none other than The Beatles, haha.

      Pleased to say that I have the Dear Prudence video at No.3 this week, safety tucked into my iTunes video collection, and an iPod favourite of mine.

    3. Say Say Say was the first single from Macca's Pipes of Peace album, although I recall him saying, on The Tube, that Tug of War/Pipes of Peace was originally going to be a double album, but that 'record companies don't really like double albums' And I certainly agree that 'The Man' was the best track on it and it's incredible it was never a single.

    4. Sorry about the error above in relation to Sir Paul - of course it was 'Pipes of Peace' that spawned 'Say Say Say', not 'Tug of War'. I was probably thinking of the unofficial CD combining sessions from both albums:

      As for 'Dear Prudence', though, that was written mainly - possibly entirely - by John Lennon. Like most of his and Sir Paul's compositions from The Beatles' later career, it was credited to Lennon-McCartney. Do you remember dear Ray Charles' pre-recorded contribution to the John Lennon Memorial Concert in 1990? The soul great performed 'Let It Be', which is chiefly a McCartney song!

    5. Julie's Ray Charles anecdote puts me in mind of Richard Allinson interviewing Justin Hayward and John Lodge on Radio 2 a few years back. During the course of the interview, he said something like "as you are here, I have got to play this," and Go Now started up. At the end, Justin and John politely reminded Richard that neither of them had been in The Moody Blues when that was a hit...

    6. frank sinatra was also supposedly quoted as saying "something" (which he recorded) was one of the best songs that lennon & mccartney wrote!

    7. i don't know how lennon felt about the "lennon & mccartney" authorship officially credited to every song he and macca wrote (be it together or separately - by all accounts it was mainly the latter once they got massive, although apparently they often used each other as sounding boards), but i remember a few years back when macca was trying to get the songwriting credits for "yesterday" changed to "mccartney & lennon" as he thought he deserved first billing in that instance due to it essentially being all his own work. but yoko put paid to that!

      also for those interested, i'm sure that macca published a book a a while back detailing exactly (to his recollection anyway) what contributions he made to every song credited to "lennon & mccartney"?

  3. Tracey Ullman - Good Lord, already at No.2! Only two weeks earlier in the studio performance she was at No.31. How the successful flourish, and with a little help from Paul McCarney in the video. It came as a surprise to me, but well done to Tracey for securing his services for her video.

    Black Lace - this felt like something out of Play School or Sesame Street, as it felt like a children's activity. How was this already at No.12 this week? The mind boggles.

    Bucks Fizz - I always liked this single of theirs, and watching this TOTP studio performance mainly for Jay Aston's sex appeal, I was pleasantly surprised at the just-as-good-looking Cheryl Baker for a change, and shows us just how pretty she is, and definitely on a par with Aston this week on the looks stakes. It was probably because she left the pins-showing to Aston this week, as Aston wins a Villa on that level.

    Lionel Richie - ah the iconic video. I liked most the little black toddler in the yellow clothing called up to the front of the dancing group to show off her moves, and then the policeman showing us some surprising dance moves of his own.

    McCartney & Jackson - a lot more of the playout on the late night repeat, with the usual upskirt opportunities for the cameraman, which seems like a weekly occurrence in late 1983, but some really good dancing from the studio audience to play us out.

    The video was not ready at this point, but only when it reached Top 3, but there is another story to that video and the controversy around the debut showing of it on another BBC programme, but more of that next weekend on the three blogs to come.....

    1. dory do you actually exclaim "good lord!" whist speaking out loud, or it is just when making written contributions to blogs?

    2. also: you make poor old cheryl baker sound like she normally looks like a real old hag! i know that unlike jay she was a bit long in the tooth for this kind of thing, but still a better looker in my opinion. what do others think: cheryl or jay?

    3. Wilberforce, I use it usually only on blogs, as it is quite funny, but it seems to have filtered through to speaking out loud too in the last couple of years, as a consequence of blogging it on here so often!

      It came about since I watched some of the early 1990s editions of WCW wrestling where a certain wrestler called Diamond Dallas Page (DDP) in the commentary box used to whale out "Good God!" on certain wrestling moves that he found quite astonishing, but I prefer Good Lord!

    4. I say "Good Lord!" or "Lordy!" out loud myself. When I'm not turning the air blue, of course.

    5. Also, in 1997/98, I rented a studio flat in Manchester, and the neighbour in the floor above was a Mr Lord who was a mature batchelor living on his own, and no-one ever seemed to know his first name, and this also was an influence for "Good Lord!" in addition to the "Good God!" rant of DDP in WCW Wrestling also in the 90's.

  4. Pete is looking increasingly embarrassed to be there, isn't he? Maybe someone showed him a tape of an early presenting appearance?

    Roman Holliday, bog standard 1950s rockabilly throwback, oh what shall we write about? Cars and girls, of course! It's all right, but if that was the best they could do to follow up a hit, then it's no wonder Pete's prediction was laughably off target.

    Tracey Ullman, the Madness influence continues over British pop videos, and she would be covering one of their tunes soon enough, but this is pretty great, amusingly cheesy then oddly poignant for the last part as she fantasises her "Paul" was Macca and not the loser she's stuck with.

    It's time for the bingo - my mistake, it's Black Lace, and I'm sure we could think of a hand gesture or two for these chaps.

    Siouxsie sporting unshaven underarms in a Nena-prefiguring move as she and the Banshees groove through Venice, that most psychedelic of towns. Maybe. Wasn't it sinking into the Mediterranean during the 1980s? Is it still doing that?

    Yeah, thanks George, but that's another one we've seen before with no variation, so onto ver Fizz with Bobby doing a vocal approximation of a Dalek. Half-recall this one, probably from this performance, and nice to see they're sticking with the well-drilled dance routines, but they seemed to be running out of inspiration.

    Lydia Murdock, I have vague memories of her claiming she had had an affair with Jacko and this was her attempt at a tell-all in song. Looking back, seems unlikely, but who knows? Answer songs were big in the 1950s, not so much afterwards (though there was Eamon duelling at number one with Frankee with two sweary/whiny hits more recently). Peter Powell once told John Peel that rap was the music of black criminals, so presumably he was horrified when Lydia started laying down the rhymes.

    Lionel Richie, a "beautiful" video according to Pete, and it certainly had an inclusive theme, but it looks a bit Saturday night light entertainment TV now. As for the song, it's a peppy enough number by Lionel's standards, pleasant on the ears if nothing inspiring.

    "Tell me, where is it impossible to snatch?" "A nudist colony!" Yes, the public information film-esque video for Karma Chameleon, I actually watched it this time. Pity they didn't get better weather, and that water looks really murky.

    A much better Macca and Whacko duet to end on, though as mentioned above The Man was their real gem.

    1. Lydia Murdock had an affair with Jacko. Really! Surely she's the wrong sex and age.

    2. wacko did actually father three childen! although of course that doesn't necessarily mean he had sex with the women in question...

    3. THX, I too was reminded of that interminable stranglehold of those bloody awful Eamon / Frankee songs that between them were No.1 for about a dozen weeks (or at least, it seemed like it) - truly, that was a low point in chart history.

      One 'answer' song that tends to get forgotten (probably rightly, as it's also terrible) is Sporty Thievz with 'No Pigeons', an answer back to TLC's 'No Scrubs'.

    4. Wacko claimed to have fathered 3 kids, but they're all white. I know, so was he eventually, but he didn't start out that way.

      Oh, and Lily Allen's Smile had an answer record calling her out on her attitude called Vile (!).

  5. A better show this time, with Dickie and PP making an effective enough combination. The latter seemed a bit more enthusiastic this time, but as with other recent appearances still seemed puzzlingly stiff and self-conscious in places, certainly nowhere near as self-confident as in his earlier years hosting the show.

    As has already been mentioned, plenty of the songs on this week were connected in one way or another to our two playout artists, but that does not apply to Roman Holliday's opener. Quite why they decided copying The Stray Cats was a good career move at a point in time when the 50s revival was finally fading away is a mystery, and predictably ended in tears, PP's prediction about their great future in his outro hammering the final nail in the coffin. A great video from Tracey Ullman to follow, featuring plenty of 60s and 70s nostalgia alongside that shock appearance from Macca - just a shame he pulls such a gormless face while sitting in that car.

    Black Lace don gaudy, sparkly jackets for this second performance of the most annoying song of 1983, with plenty of audience participation once again - as much as I despise this, I can't deny that everyone appears to be having a good time. Siouxsie and her minions head for Venice, where they seem to spend half their time drowning in wave-like special effects which were doubtless state of the art back then and don't actually look that bad now. Back in the studio, Bucks Fizz turn in an impressively choreographed routine for a decent song that deserved to be a bigger hit. Both Cheryl and Jay look glamorous here, though with her top hat and cascading hair it is Jay who once again wins the battle. Perhaps the group sensed that their momentum was waning by this point, as we are informed that they are about to release a Greatest Hits album, handily timed for the Christmas market...

    Can't say that I have ever heard this Lydia Murdock cash-in answer record before. As Wilberforce mentions, the Billie Jean backing track is shamelessly ripped off, and that is really the only memorable thing about this, though Lydia herself has a decent stage presence. Lionel Richie was now poised to turn himself into a solo superstar, and this is a fun video, but even his upbeat numbers tend towards the bland, and I would put this cod-reggae effort firmly in this category.

    On to the closing credits and the second "Mackson" collaboration. This is far superior to The Girl is Mine, and the audience dance along effectively. My attention was caught by a rather fat and sweaty young chap in a bow tie, who reminded me a bit of Ed Balls...

    1. I would have thought Siouxsie and co were keen to visit Venice for the Don't Look Now connection, but their director didn't have the guts to make any more explicit references!

    2. I liked the way that Bucks Fizz were given a background setting without any studio audience, so that the viewers could focus on Buck Fizz entirely and not get distracted by any of the girlies in the audience. It was probably requested by Bucks Fizz themselves, and I don't blame them, cos we could then just transfix on Jay Aston and Cheryl Baker, and indeed I was able to do that on this week's show.

    3. The Dear Prudence video should have been filmed in India as that was the inspiration for the original.

  6. According to Simon Mayo on the Kermode/Mayo films podcast, Peter Powell is the only celebrity to have filled up an entire Colemanballs column in Private Eye by himself. Fancy that.

  7. Shakey Shakerson29 April 2017 at 12:27

    1983 eh? What a year to be alive. I was young, in love, in employment and I had no responsibilities to worry me. The summer was glorious and as for the music . . . well it was the greatest musical year since Ug and Eg discovered that a Mastadon vein twanged if you plucked it. Except. Except it wasn't.

    Over the past few editions I have struggled to find anything to say at all about songs which I had no recollection of, or of which I had never heard, or which fell squarely in that zone I like to call 'meh'. 1983, then - a veritable musical venn diagram. But if I don't write something soon, the brain might just freeze up all together.

    Roman Holiday. One more song that I don't recall. Third rate 'rock n roll' and far too stop-starty for my liking. And there future is sealed by being Mystic Megged by our hosts.

    Tracy Ullman. Now this I don't mind at all. Nice sixties girl group vibe and a smart, funny video. For a comedian she had a fair old voice on her. Macca appears at the end, and didn't Welsh Windbag Neil Kinnock appear in another of her vids?

    Banshees. A decent cover but the video effects annoyed me no end.

    George Benson. One of his weaker songs for me. Too much like so many other songs that charted around this time.

    Lydia Murdock. One of those 'Response' songs that requires permission from the original composers to be released. I seem to feel that a film based on Jacko's original Billie Jean was being talked about at the time and that permission was granted for this plodder merely to keep the Billie Jean legend going. Or maybe I just imagined all of that. She may have been 'live in the studio' but she was 100% miming.

    George & Co are bookended by a couple of Motown stars. Lionel Ritchie's is a particularly naff effort, whilst controversially, I quite like the Jacko/Macca collaboration.

    Scores. 6 for the music. Just about getting above average thanks to Macca's two contributions.

    Hosts. Powell drops points for tucking his jumper into his pants and for being Powell. Skinneeeer!! was professional but charisma-free - 5.

    I am sorely tempted to peruse the future line ups just to see if 83 ends on the crest of a wave or gets swallowed up in a Tsunami of godawfulness and tedium.

    1. Shakey - Kinnock appeared in Tracey's single after next - 'My Guy', a cover of the Madness hit 'My Girl'.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Our good friend Calvin Henderson has kindly loaded a complete show from 11/04/74 onto YT. Well worth a look, although I have seen some of the performances before.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. The chart rundown shows Genesis at no29 with 'I know what I like' and the picture is a very appropriate shot of Peter Gabriel dressed as Britannia from the 'Selling England by the Pound' tour.

      Other highlights here are Mud with 'The Cat crept in', Madame Cholet's violin solo on 'Remember you're a Womble' and the film shot in Cornwall for 'You are everything'.

      The Slade performance and the Pans People dance to 'Homely Girl' I have seen before.

      Noel Edmonds' links border on the embarrassing at times!

      Thanks again Calvin.

    3. It amazing how this episode has already received 340 views on the first day it was posted. And that was just Wilberforce.

      Was this one of the wiped episodes by the BBC? I must say it is probably one of the best shows of the early 70s era, when you have on the same show Mud, Slade, Mungo Jerry, Pans People in nighties, Bill Haley in the TOTP studio, and Abba with what was their first and only appearance in the TOTP studio I think.

      Slade - this song called Every Day is very similar sounding to their 1983 release called My Oh My which got to No.2 in Dec 1983, of which we will shortly be enjoying on the BBC4 reruns. Seems like they reprised Every Day on My Oh My.

      Diana Ross & Marvin Gaye - didn't know that a video was made for this, but is really an excellent snapshot of the long lost romantic era of the 70s, and I like how when Noel Edmonds introduced it, he got a kiss from a blonde girl in the studio audience who obviously idolised him judging by the look on her face. It seemed that after that point in the show, it was TOTP girl groupies all over Noel.

      The Chilites - Pans people at their very best with a combination of the girl-next-door look and the sexy white nighties, especially looking good on Cherry Gillespie, ooooh yeah!

      Bill Haley & The Comets - now this was really interesting that Haley comes to a 1974 TOTP studio to perform, and 20 years after he had a hit with it, and now already 48 on this Apr '74 show. Sadly he died a few years later in 1981 at the age of only 55 as an admitted alcoholic during the 1970s.

      Abba - I think this may have been their first and only appearance in the TOTP studio through their career, as I seem to recall that after Waterloo and until their demise in 1983, TOTP only showed them on video.

    4. Great to see the early 1970s shows, this is the era I started watching the show.

      Did anyone manage to re-upload the 18.8.1983 DLT show on WeTransfer?

    5. Dory - ABBA actually appeared in the studio 7 times from 1974-76. In the 1976 repeat run we saw their performances of Fernando and Mamma Mia, but this performance is indeed their very first, so quite a significant one in pop history. Thanks to Calvin for making the show available, though it has long been in existence. I read a few days ago that a complete version of the 6/6/74 show has recently been discovered, featuring the very first performance of Sue Menhenick with Pan's People.

      Back to 1983, and Calvin has made the majority of the Yewtreed 27 October show available across two videos - Lionel Richie, Duran Duran and Culture Club have all been snipped out, however: (Part 1 - starting just after 21 minutes) (Part 2)

    6. John, I look forward to the 6th June 74 show in the future hopefully! 'Sugar Baby Love' at no1 then.

    7. What an amazing stroke of luck that out of all the 1974 editions which were wiped, this one wasn't. Yes, I have seen clips from it before but in its entirety this is one stunning show loaded with the biggest names in pop. Leaving out the crowd dancing 'bookends', with one exception every act on this show either had or would go on to have at least one UK or US No.1. And the exception included the UK's most prolific No.1 drummer in the line-up! Just a shame that the record at the top of the charts at this time was a bit of a downer.

      The live Bill Haley performance is completely new to me, which I find surprising since I would have thought that colour VT footage of such a seminal song would have been done to death over the past 40 years. The sax player was real 'old school' with absolutely no concept whatsoever of 'staying on mic'.

      Also of note was an alternative mix of 'Remember You're A Womble' sans French horn, which gave it a much more raw and rocky feel, as well as 'Waterloo' with the TOTP orchestra and the infamous splatty snare drum much to the fore.

    8. dory i never fail to enjoy mud doing one of their triptich of glam classics ("dyna mite" / "tiger feet" / "the cat crept in") on the show, but i've only watched it once! if that really was rob davis playing on this recording, then in contrast to his joke persona (i remember my mother guffawing at his feminine get-up, no doubt the same way hen parties going to see "the ladyboys of bangkok" do nowadays) then he was actually a very talented and underated guitarist!

      i also loved the wombles on the show, but the drummer took it a bit too seriously!

    9. Neil B put this show up a couple of years ago on his 4shared page. It was the full version including Angel Face by the Glitter Band as the playout track. I keep hoping that Calvin Henderson or someone would upload the 27/7/78 and 3/8/78 shows that fleetingly appeared on Manorak's vimeo page before it was taken down. Both Manorak and X Ray Four put some real rarities up but there's hardly anything on vimeo nowadays.

    10. Hi brie,
      If you open a vimeo account and follow me at I will get some of the shows for you!

    11. sct - yes, hopefully that 6/6/74 show will become available soon. I have seen some of the performances on YouTube in the past, but only now has the whole show come to light.

    12. It's a pity that BBC4 only started these reruns from April 1976, as they could have done 1964-1975 within weeks or months, cos most of these shows have been wiped. We would have then seen the April 1974 episode, but it seems that the Beeb have not repeated the episode since April 74. Nor has UK Gold been at it I think.

    13. I can easily locate the Pans People Dance to the Isley Brothers 'Summer Breeze' from the 06/06/74 show on YT (albeit in b&w - which is how I would have seen it at the time!). There is also a brief snippet in colour.

      The show contains the following acts:-

      Noel Edmonds looks at the weekly pop chart from 6th June 1974 and introduces Bryan Ferry, Gary Glitter, The Pearls, Cozy Powell, Ray Stevens, Cilla Black, Sparks, Bad Company, The Scaffold, The Rubettes and a Pans People dance sequence.

      So if we do get to see it, expect some more 'humour' from Mr Edmonds and I look forward to seeing the Pearls with the excellent 'Guilty'.

  10. I was never really sure about Roman Holiday, they looked and to a degree sounded like the real deal and collectively wrote all their own songs but still had a whiff of what we would now call a boy band. I checked out the videos for this and the previous singles on YouTube and the songs come across a lot better there, this one being visually similar to Greased Lightening from Grease.

    Loved the Tracy Ullman video a lot back then, lots of sixties and seventies references and images and I like the Rank gong man at the beginning and the bowling alley sequence. The problem though was that as she was known mainly as a comedy star the music thing was perhpas dismissed as a sideline and wasn't thaken that seriously.

    Black Lace's keyboard player (who also seems to be invisibly playing guitar, bass and drums) looks like he desperately want to be in Creme Brulee but this was the best gig he could get. I HATED this crap at the time and not much has changed. I dislike the way that because everyone in the studio is playing along with doing the actions it's implied that if you don't play along there is something wrong with you. Of course worse was to come.

    So good that Siouxsie and co opted to cover what was at the time a lesser known Beatles song and a great video. I like the bit where Steve Severin walks up some steps only to be escorted down by two real Venice cops.

    From one video to another, a real sign of the times. But what a dull performance video from George Good Benson. I remember when I worked for Our price Records at the time. A guy I worked with there used to like to play jokes on the customers and when a young lady asked him "Have you got George Benson, In Your Eyes?". His reponse was to rub his eyes and say "No". Not that she got the joke.

    Bucks Fizz's theatrical antics look a bit tired by this point but it's not a bad song with a nice guitar break although Bobby G's vocals do let it down somewhat although he apparently said that they were badly mixed giving them and odd sound. I recall he went on to do the theme song to the brilliant Ray Brooks drama series Big Deal. According to Wikipedeia Saint Etienne's Bob Stanley is a big fan of this song. Who knew.

    I had forgotten about the Lydia Murdock answer song to Bille Jean and I'm glad I had forgotten it as it's not worth remembering.

    I was never really a fan of Lionel Richie's solo stuff but I had a soft spot for All Night Long with its clever infectious melodies, cod African chanting and lovely Herb Alpert-style trumpet. Great video too which aparently was produced by Mike Nesmith.

    And then the song that kept Tracy Ullman from the top spot. Getting a bit tired of Karma Chameleon now. The video is quite good though and was filmed on the banks of the Thames near Weybridge. Not sure the real harmonica player isn't featured but is instead mimed by an old black and guy and in one part by George himself.

    I remember the video for Say Say Say which is coming up soon and caused a lot of controvesy with Macca falling out with the BBC when they initially refused to show it. I like the song a lot but there is something slightly unsatisfying about it maybe because it's a compromise between two writers.

    1. bama, i laughed out loud at your george benson story! not so much at the joke itself, but the punter's (lack of) reaction - such a gag would effortlessly sail way over the head of anyone who even thought of buying "in your eyes"...

  11. Not exactly a dynamic duo in charge this time, Skinner does a pretty good job but Powell looks like he'd rather be elsewhere yet again.

    Roman Holliday - I rediscovered this a few years back when preparing one of my radio shows. To my surprise I found it quite enjoyable, though I do wonder how many were confused by the constant mention of a 'Zodiac' (not a well-known car in the UK, surely?)

    Tracey Ullman - Shame we didn't get to see the studio performance but at least the video is good, with Sir Wacky Macca Two Thumbs Aloft and all.

    Bucks Fizz - Returning to my previous rant about the BBC4 editors : hey guys, how about chopping the previous 2 songs on video out from the early show rather than this, which is miles better and is its only appearance?
    Yes, as has been noted, the vocals are not great on this but it's another good pop tune from the Fizz.

    Lydia Murdock - I'm not keen on this at all, the Clubhouse track was a far better use of 'Billie Jean' if you ask me. What is she wearing as well? Fits her about as well as an old sack of spuds would.

    Lionel Richie - Firstly, one of my pet peeves - there's no 't' in 'Richie' yet his name gets spelt that way all the time.
    Topically, a good friend of mine got married on Saturday and had this as his first dance song. I wasn't expecting that to be honest!
    I think it gets played less often than 'Dancing On The Ceiling' and bloody 'Hello' so for that reason I don't mind it so much.

    Macca / Jacko - Pretty good stuff, and much better than their other duet.

    1. The general pattern that BBC4 are adopting for editing songs out of the 7.30pm showing, is to edit the three consecutive songs before the chart rundown, which is just one chop, as opposed to three separate ones in different points of the show. So it is not about which songs they like or not, just the easiest way for them, which is the reason why Bucks Fizz were edited out of the early showing.

    2. Indeed Dory, and in the previous thread I pointed out how lazy that approach is, and that it deprives viewers who only watch the early showings of certain songs.

    3. So why dont they record the late edition as well?

    4. Hardcore fans like us do, but casual viewers may not even know that there is one, and the more viewers the better if we want to see the repeats continue!

  12. Another classic Black Lace performance. The beauty of this song is to see people's interpretations of the actions. Powell's face after was a picture!

    1. It is still like Play School or Sesame Street for its antics.

    2. Haha. It's not Steely Dan's Aja certainly, but as a fun party record it does a great job.

      Strange to see another Billie Jean rip off after that bizarre Clubhouse effort (Steely Dan!)

      My feet are firmly in the Cheryl Baker camp. She looks top drawer in this episode.

    3. im my view "aja" is one of the greatest albums ever recorded! if anyone's interested, top dan tribute act nearly dan are (i think) celebrating the 40th anniversary of its release by playing it in its entirety on their summer tour:

    4. Strange how relatively unknown albums like 'Aja' have stood the test of time and remain classics to this day. Donald Fagen from Steely Dan (not to be confused with Joe Fagin - That's livin' alright) recorded another absolute classic album 'The Nightfly' which sold even less than 'Aja' and only reached no44 in the album charts.

    5. "the nightfly" and the dan's "gaucho" are also vying for the title of best album ever made in my opinion,. before i moved into my current abode i had to do a lot of painting and cleaning up to make the place habitable, and i found the perfect way to make that task less onerous was to play steely dan and donald fagen tracks virtually non-stop. i had intended to mount the three album sleeves somewhere in my flat once i finished the job properly. but despite living there for over three years now, i still haven't managed to do the stairs and landing yet!

  13. I know this is a long shot but does anyone happen to know the bleach blonde lady in the leather dress dancing at the end to Macca & Jacko? I think she might be one of the stock TOTP dancers as the previous week she was dancing on stage with FREEEZ 'Pop goes my love' wearing exactly the same outfit!